First Aid for Pets
Its gives us peace of mind to know that we are prepared for anything. So, we buy insurance, feed our savings accounts, and keep emergency numbers by the phone, knowing that we have everything covered. But we don’t.
What would you do if your cat started choking? If your puppy licks antifreeze? If your beagle gets a burn?
Pet emergencies are not covered in First Aid books. As much as we love our pets, there is little out there in the way of educating us about rescuing them from danger. There are such things as pet CPR courses, but they get little play. Besides, although such training is very important, having a few things in place in case of pet emergency is the best thing you can possibly do.
For example, you should always have the vet’s number near the phone, along with other emergency numbers. In addition, you should know how to handle the small problems that become big ones. The ability to recognize the first sign of trouble is the best skill of all.
Many substances that are not harmful to humans are harmful to our pets. Also, puppies tend to chew on things that never come near the human mouth-so we don’t know how dangerous they are. A puppy can’t tell you what they ate, nor can they tell you if they are feeling bad.
If your dog has diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, watery eyes, unusually large or small pupils, then you have a problem. These signs of poisoning in dogs are noticeable and if you pay attention, you will have time to get your dog to a vet and save their life. Just remember to bring a sample of any vomit with you, since the vet will need to examine it.
If you think your dog has ingested anti-freeze or some other chemical, call the Poison Control center.
For small burns, apply cold water or ice to the area for twenty minutes. This will relieve the pain. Clip away the fur around the burn and wash gently with surgical soap. Blot very gently dry and apply Neosporin or a similar ointment to the area. Apply a loose-fitting gauze dressing to protect the area.
For chemical burn, flush with water. Treat an acid burn with baking soda. Add four tablespoons to a pint of water and rinse. For alkali burns, use a weak vinegar solution to rinse. Bandage loosely.
For small cuts, clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide. Clip away the hair if necessary, then bandage. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding. For a large wound, you need to buy time to get to the vet. If there is a spurting artery or a lot of blood flow, you need to make a tourniquet. Bit wounds are usually puncture wounds, highly infected. They should never be sutured since antibiotics must be administered. You can help a cut heal faster by bathing it daily in salt water.
If you accidentally cut your dog while clipping its toenails, then apply a little bit of flour or cornstarch to the wound.
You can buy a first aid kit for your pet, or you can make your own. It should include the following:
Hydrocortisone ointment scissors
Baby food – meat flavors large towel
1-inch white tape (in addition to
Rolls of elastic wrap
Emergency ice pack Thermometer (never take a dog’s temperature orally, since they can break the glass with their teeth)
In the event of a serious injury to your pet, your focus should be getting them to the vet as fast as possible. Lack of materials or a missing phone number cannot get in the way of saving your companion’s life. Money shouldn’t either.
Depend on having to make a deposit when you get to the vet, or even having them deny care should you be unable to pay. Pet insurance eliminates this problem. It will also help you pay for any expensive procedure that your pet may need. Some home and vehicle insurance companies off pet insurance as well.
Make sure all your bases are covered. If an emergency arises, you need to be able to help every member of your family- whether they have two legs or four.